Raw images are already being returned from Cassini’s Nov. 21 “E-8” or eighth flyby of the tiger-striped moon Enceladus. Visible in this raw image are several plumes from fissures in the south polar region of the moon. These fissures spew jets of water vapor and other particles hundreds of kilometers from the surface. This flyby included a very different geometry to the flyby trajectory – and a different look at the plumes — approaching within 1,606 kilometers (997.9 miles) of the surface, buzzing over 82 degrees south latitude. This is the last look we’ll have for several years at this intriguing area of Enceladus before winter darkness blankets the area. See below for looks at Baghdad Sulcus, the “tiger stripe” that scientists were focusing on.
While Cassini was taking these high-resolution images of the southern part of the Saturn-facing hemisphere, the Composite Infrared Spectrograph (CIRS) instrument was collecting data to create a contiguous thermal map of Baghdad Sulcus. This image was taken approximately 1,858 kilometers away.
Here’s a look at Baghdad Sulcus from 3,556 kilometers away. And below is a 3-D version, created by Stu Atkinson. Stay tuned for more details on the data gathered from the flyby!
Source: Cassini raw images
Thanks to Stu for alerting us the images were here!
* The title is in reference to the “Fantasy Island” television show.